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Electric vehicle stocks

The electric vehicle market is expanding rapidly, Tesla is surging and Rivian is releasing an IPO. Should you buy into the sector?

With Tesla now worth more than a trillion dollars in market cap, and newcomer Rivian set to launch an IPO this week, you may be thinking about adding electric vehicle stocks to your portfolio.

Tesla’s stock is up 181% over the last year and a whopping 3,000% in five years. Rivian, which has delivered relatively few of its electric trucks thus far, is seeking an IPO valuation of as much as $80 billion. That would match the market cap of storied automaker Ford.

Next to the market will be Sono Motors, which has filed for an IPO on Nov. 17. Sono is developing an electric car that incorporates solar panels and can also be plugged in.

These names appear priced for anticipated growth, as are most of the smaller names in this sector. Here’s a look.

Status of the sector

Global numbers of electric vehicle registrations were up 60% in March 2022 compared to March 2021, according to the website Cleantechnica. There’s little sign of demand fading.

But newcomers in the area, like Rivian, do find themselves competing with giants like Ford (F), General Motors (GM) and Nissan, as well as Tesla. It’s far from clear who the winners in this sector will be.

Notably, companies that make charging stations could also see a spark as these would be crucial to supporting more EVs on the road. Plus, lithium stocks may be on your watchlist as the element is used to make electric car batteries.

Key companies in the electric vehicle sector

Here are some stocks you may want to research.

General Motors and Ford

While these are far from pure plays in electric vehicles, both have vehicles in the sector along with ready distribution networks. Ford, notably, was an early backer of Rivian, which is also supported by Amazon (AMZN).

Tesla

Tesla recently joined the $1 trillion club, one of only 5 US companies worth more than $1 trillion. While its sky high price-to-earnings ratio still bothers some analysts, sales continue to grow strongly.

Fisker (FSR)

The startup EV maker is currently valued at about $5.6 billion, and analysts who cover it rate it a buy. Production cars are still a year away.

Bollinger Motors

This New York company is working on off-road vehicles targeted at consumers seeking ruggedly-built rides powered by clean energy. While the company has yet to roll its first Hummer-like truck or SUV off the lot, it’s currently letting people reserve their vehicles. The company is not yet public, so there’s no stock.

Workhorse Group (WKHS)

Workhorse is working on electric delivery vans and other projects. It generated some excitement earlier this years with shares peaking about $40, but they’ve fallen to below $7.

Blink Charging (BLNK)

Blink Charging is a major manufacturer of charging stations for EVs. According to Biden’s climate plan, he intends to work with local government officials to deploy more than 500,000 new public charging outlets by the end of 2030.

NIO (NIO)

This Chinese EV company also gained steam in 2020 and saw a 113% increase in car deliveries compared to the previous year. It sold more than 1 million vehicles in 2020 and that number can turn into 10 million by 2030, according to research organization BloombergNEF.

Hyundai

The well-known car maker from South Korea has spent the last few years expanding its fleet of EVs. Earlier this month, it announced plans to partner with Apple to start producing autonomous electric cars by 2024. Select a company to learn more about what they do and how their stock performs, including market capitalization, the price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, price/earnings-to-growth (PEG) ratio and dividend yield. While this list includes a selection of the most well-known and popular stocks, it doesn't include every stock available.

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Why invest in the electric vehicle sector?

The electric vehicle sector has been driving on an upward road in recent years as it hit record sales, and companies like Tesla found themselves among the biggest in the world.

President Biden has helped bolster it this year, first with a proposal to replace the federal vehicle fleet with electrics, and more recently with $7.5 billion in the recent infrastructure bill passed by Congress to set up more charging stations nationwide.

And while the EV fleet initiative remains uncertain, it’s clear that Biden is determined on pursuing a clean energy agenda. The electric-vehicle sector can benefit from this.

For investors, the sector can present a couple of challenges. The major old-line automakers do make electrics, but investing in them means buying into their whole businesses, not just EVs. That leaves Tesla and some smaller names that just aren’t rolling out cars yet.

What unique risks does the electric vehicle sector face?

Even though the electric vehicle sector is surging right now, it’s no guarantee it will stay hot into the future. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Market share: Despite recent optimism in the EV sector, it’s not clear when or if electric vehicles would dominate the roads.
  • Building materials: Lithium-ion batteries power today’s electric vehicles. A spark in the EV sector would drive demand for this finite resource, which can be difficult to mine. And its environmental impact could put environmentally conscious customers at odds with manufacturers. Moreover, regulations on lithium emissions may indirectly have a negative impact on the electric vehicle sector.
  • Company hype: Electric cars can sound like all the rage today, but there are still some EV companies that are nowhere near the finish line when it comes to production and quality. Semi truck manufacturer Nikola was even accused of fraud over its technology claims, and that stock plunged in late 2020 after seeing a steady rise.

Bottom line

It’s tempting to follow this trend and even look for the next Tesla, but particularly with young companies, due your due diligence before planing your bet. To invest, you’ll need to open a brokerage account. Compare your stock-trading platforms to find one that’s right for you.

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